2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Antarctic Automatic Weather Station program
Dr. Matthew Lazzara
University of Wisconsin Madison
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
The Antarctic Automatic Weather Station (AWS) network has been making meteorological observations since the early 1980s. This continent-wide network is positioned to observe significant meteorological events and increase understanding of the Antarctic surface climate. Researchers use the AWS network to observe and learn about the Antarctic in a warming world. Numerous studies of surface climatology in regions around the continent, like the Ross Ice Shelf, have been possible due to the long duration of the AWS project and regular AWS maintenance. Given the duration of the AWS program and maintaining AWS sites for many years, numerous studies have been conducted on the surface climatology of regions of the continent such as the Ross Ice Shelf. This AWS-based climatology also aids in other studies such as winter warming events.
Field Season Overview
Four team members will deploy for the second component of the O-283-M event. They will conduct field work on the Ross Ice Shelf and around the local McMurdo Station area. The team will visit and repair AWS stations that develop problems during the Austral winter, and as needed throughout the deployment. Specific location details include: (1) One Twin Otter flight to Tall Tower. The team will require antenna rigger support to raise the lower levels of instrumentation. Two project participants will dig out and raise the power system. (2) Ross Ice Shelf work, based out of McMurdo Station. The following AWS sites are scheduled for maintenance during the 2016-17 season: Gill, Schwerdtfeger, Lettau, Vito, and Sabrina. (3) Ross Island sites including Williams Field, Windless Bight, and Pegasus North can be visited using ground transportation. Helicopter support will be required to access Lorne, Linda, Marble Point, Minna Bluff, and Cape Bird sites. One McMurdo research associate (RA) provides support year-round.
Deploying Team Members